So, on Thursday I had a job interview for a Peer Leader position through OSU that I was super excited for. In the email they said come in business casual wear. That was the most confusing thing ever (to me at least). What does business casual mean? I didn’t know. So you know where I went to find out? Pinterest.
I just searched business casual wear on Pinterest to see some of their ideas.
Pinterest knows everything yall, for real. They had so many cute outfits it was crazy. I had all of these high expectations for my outfit after looking through here. My friend and I both had an interview on the same day for the same position so we went to the mall to look for clothes together. You could also ask your parents, your older siblings, Google, your RA, anyone who has had to wear business casual clothes for advice on what to wear. They will be able to help you.
- I want to give yall a heads-up: start investing in business and business casual wear now so you will already have a little to begin with when you get to college and won’t have to buy everything at once. Purchase some black/nude tights and a pair of simple black heels. That is your basic starter kit. If you start collecting these items early on you won’t have to throw down $200 at once for a nice outfit. It’ll only be $20 here and there when you have the extra cash.
- Don’t spend $60 on a pair of Victoria’s Secret sweat pants, those days are over. You are entering adult hood and college life (sounds fun doesn’t it). Take that $60 and invest in a nice blazer, a pencil skirt (and not those cloth pencil skirts you can get at Rue 21 for $10). I’m talking about a suit skirt. Start spending your money on things you will need in the future because I promise you, you WILL need this stuff and you will thank yourself in the future that you did that instead of looking into your closet at a bunch of sweats, hoodies, and t-shirts when interview time rolls around.
- Another tip for dressing for success: you don’t necessarily have to spend $60 on one blazer. I’m not saying to spend all of your money on one thing. I am also not saying that all professional wear is super expensive (a lot of it is, but not all of it). Go to places like TJ Max to shop around. They have discounted name brand clothing that is new. My friend and I went to the mall to go to Forever 21 where I found my tan blazer (for $20), my clutch (for $12) and my statement necklace (for $12), and to Charlotte Russe where I found my sweater long sleeve black dress (for $15). I already had my black heels, but I got them at TJ Max (for $20). That entire outfit was around $74. While I was shopping I saw certain blazers that alone were $80. So that is not necessary. Shop smart!! This was my finished product (please excuse my trashcan).
- Jewelry is good for an interview, to an extent. You don’t want to wear a glamorous necklace, drooping earrings, a lot of bracelets, rings on each finger, an anklet, and a toe ring. That isn’t necessary. I wore a statement necklace, my watch, a pair of stud opal earrings, and my opal ring. That’s it. They all look nice, matched my outfit, and made me look professional.
- Try on your clothes when you’re shopping. I know a lot of you may know your size but for something like an interview you want to make sure all your items fit you perfectly and not sloppy. I bought my dress and blazer from different stores but when I went to buy my blazer I put the dress I already bought on again and tried it on WITH the blazer to make sure they both look good together, seeing as I’ll be wearing them together.
- Your hair and makeup should look professional as well. You can’t be dressed for success but then your hair looks like you just rolled out of bed. Make-up is in no way mandatory for a job interview, but if you feel comfortable wearing it be sure you look professional. I straightened my hair and did my makeup casually, no contouring or any of that. A simple pink, tan, and black eye to match my dress and a light pink lipstick. I didn’t have bright green eyeshadow and blue lipstick with bright red cheeks. That is a no-no.
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- It’s perfectly okay to go shopping with a certain outfit in mind and looking for certain things, but while you are doing that keep in mind to look for things that would match other things. You don’t want to end up getting a purple dress and a green, purple, and blue blazer that makes a beautiful interview outfit, but doesn’t match anything else. You just spent $80 on ONE outfit when you could have bought universal things that you could wear again for another interview in the future. I bought a plain black dress because I can dress it up professional with a blazer and necklace or dress it fancy without the blazer but still with the necklace for a dinner with D, or I could just wear the dress to a party/club scene (if that was my lifestyle). But the point of the matter is, be universal with your choices!! Buy items that match that one outfit, but that also match other things or that you could wear other places so that you don’t waste money on an outfit you will only wear once or twice.
- Like I said before, heels are a good choice! But not necessary. You want to be comfortable and confident in an interview and if heels make you feel that way then rock them! If you aren’t comfortable walking in them then don’t wear them! You can wear flats, or small wedged shoes, anything (except crocs). If you do get heels however make sure they are of a professional style, not 12 inch clubbing shoes. There is a difference. Along with your heels I suggest the small pads that go on the heel and under your toes for comfort because they can hurt after a while. These also help with the sliding that happens when your feet sweat (because mine do when I am nervous) so these help keep my feet in place while I am walking so they don’t slip around.
- Use your resources!! Here at OSU we have a place called the Younkin Success Center that will look at your resume and give you feed back, you can do walk-in practice interviews, they have tips and tricks to help, and they can also help you with what to wear. A program on my campus (which I think is pretty awesome) is called Career Closet which is held at our Student Union where they set up shop with bunch of professional wear that people can come in and get FOR FREE. Yes, I said that right. Students donate gently used professional wear so those who need it can come and get it to rock an interview in and get the job of their dreams. It is really awesome. Ours just happened the other day too! Look!!
- Dresses and skirts are always a good professional choice to wear to an interview IF they are long enough!!!!!!!!! This is super important. You cannot walk into an interview with a skirt that is meant for the club. A rule of thumb I like to follow is the dress or skirt can only be 2 fingers above the knee. This is a good rule of thumb because if it is any shorter when you sit down it would be TOO short. When you sit down your skirt/dress will ride up so you need to plan for that and always go with long! Also avoid long slits up the sides and up the middle on the skirts. Another good choice is always pants as well (I’m thinking about going this route for my group interview coming up here soon!).
I hope these tips have helped you in preparing for an interview!! If there is anymore you think of that you think would benefit other people please post below so everyone can know too!
Good luck at any upcoming interviews!!!